French sports retailer Decathlon is to trial a smaller-store budget format called Koodza in the UK.
The move is part of a UK push by Decathlon, which has so far been hampered by difficulties securing sites for full-size Decathlon stores.
The company is in the process of finding a smaller site suitable for a Koodza pilot, which it then hopes to roll out in other locations.
Koodza will trade in units of around 10,000 sq ft, a significant departure from a full-range Decathlon shop, which trades out of stores between 30,000 and 50,000 sq ft.
The new format will sell Decathlon’s own discount sports equipment and clothing brands, which will cover all traditional sports. However, the store will also sell selected pieces of more expensive equipment such as bicycles and fitness machines.
Decathlon is targeting smaller towns across the UK that have a catchment area of between 40,000 and 60,000 people within a 20-minute drive.
Decathlon UK and Ireland property manager Stephan Veyret said the format will enable the retailer to penetrate smaller markets where the brand is not accessible at present.
“We’re doing this to complement the Decathlon stores,” he said. “It’s to fill the gap between the stores we have.”
The Koodza brand was launched in France two years ago, and Decathlon has opened eight stores there.
The company has also trialled the concept in Spain, where it has one Koodza store, and Belgium, where it has three.
It is also understood to be on the brink of signing a deal for two full-size stores, where it trades its own-label goods as well as branded equipment and clothing.
The location is not yet known, but last year the retailer said it wanted to add one site in the north of England and one in the South.
The six stores it presently trades out of are in Stockport, Thurrock, Surrey Quays in London, Nottingham, Sheffield and Dudley.